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Top coal executive admits CCS is a waste of time.

IEEFA Update: Elections Have Consequences, but Perhaps Few That Can Save Coal

We didn’t make it this year to the Coaltrans USA conference last week in Miami, but we heard tell of some smart talk at the event by two of the industry’s CEOs, Bob Murray of Murray Energy and Kevin Crutchfield of Contura Energy, né Alpha Natural Resources...   


ONE POINT OF CONTENTION ACROSS THE INDUSTRY revolves around the viability of carbon capture and sequestration, the largely experimental notion that “clean coal” will save the day.

Crutchfield said no utility executive in his or her right mind would build a coal plant in the U.S. today, but argued for an era of innovation to pave the way for CCS. Murray says CCS is a waste of time, fully aware that the industry has a weak track record on innovation and probably lacks the DNA to change.

Both men were around during the second Bush administration when it canceled federal funding for a major CCS project because it was simply too expensive. And both know that the same administration canceled a 70-year-old federally subsidized coal plant program through the Department of Agriculture. They know, too, that the industry itself has spent precious few dollars on CCS, leaving the risks to ratepayers and shareholders of large utilities like Duke Energy and Southern Company.




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